President Barack Obama has ordered a full review of the transferring of military-grade weaponry, vehicles and armor from the government to local police departments, The New York Times reports.
The move comes after the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. by police officer Darren Wilson. Protests and riots erupted after witnesses claimed Wilson shot Brown while he was surrendering, although additional evidence is suggesting otherwise. (RELATED: ON THE GROUND IN FERGUSON: Monday Protests Turn Violent)
The media has expressed outrage at the police handling of the riots, which included the use of tear gas and mine-resistant trucks. Rioters have looted stores, damaged property and confronted the police with Molotov cocktails and bottles full of urine and water. (RELATED: Scarborough: Outrage At Ferguson Cops ‘A Watershed Moment’ For Police Militarization Across America)
While the vast majority acknowledge that the police response in Ferguson may have been excessive, who’s to blame for that “excessive” response is still up in the air. (RELATED: Rand Paul Blames ‘Big Government’ For Militarized Police Crackdown In Ferguson)
The review will determine whether local police departments should have access to high-grade military equipment, and if they should have access, if they are receiving the training necessary to use that equipment properly.